Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is 'definitely alive' say Kurdish officials

Lundi, 17 Juil, 2017

But this would have ceded our military advantage to the enemy in the urban terrain of a foreign country, and it might also have induced some who are helping the campaign (or at least sitting on the sidelines) to join the enemy.

Iraqi security forces have ended three years of Islamic State rule in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the group is under growing pressure in Raqqa - both strongholds in the militants' crumbling self-proclaimed caliphate.

He told Iraqi newspaper AlSabah: "According to monitoring cells and accurate information about his movement, and since we are more concerned with chasing and detecting the activity of Daesh leader and his followers, the Soqour Cell denies news about his death, and recently circulated information are untrue". Now it is surrounded by Shiite militias, and although there has not yet been a decision on whether they or the Iraqi army will undertake the offensive, Tal Afar could ignite future sectarian tensions.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a longtime conflict monitor, said earlier this week it had heard from senior ISIS leaders in Syria's Deir Ezzor province that Baghdadi was dead.

It now had access to natural resources with its confiscation of Iraqi oil, abundant financial resources through the levying of taxes, controlling banks, and selling said oil on the black market, and it could recruit and train fighters, as well as develop weapons. The organization has sought to reinvent itself in the years after ISIS's emergence, condemning the group's brutality and the sectarian violence that has become a key aspect of the ISIS agenda.

They say cats have nine lives - and so it seems does Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This is a necessary step forward in combating terrorism. It was not the first time that Baghdadi, who has rarely made any public appearance since announcing the creation of Isis in 2014, had been reported dead. "And if he´s not, as soon as we find out where he is he will be", he said in a video call from Baghdad.

'We will verify it. We will look at the intelligence available. and we will give a statement when we have the requisite facts'.

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In 2011, he moved to Syria to participate in the civil war there.

The caliphate was abolished by Kemal Ataturk in 1924, triggering the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The government of Iraq and the coalition dealt ISIS a blow the week, retaking the city of Mosul.

Here are six of the toughest battles still to be fought.

Moscow claimed that Al-Baghdadi was killed along with 30 other jihadi bosses and 300 fighter when plans struck a building in Raqqa in June.

It is surrounded by a large sweep of desert terrain and is another of the locations where the Islamic State is thought to have relocated many of its leading commanders.